[eDebate] Going home

Mon Apr 14 07:03:08 CDT 2008

In a message dated 4/14/2008 12:08:26 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
ewarner at louisville.edu writes:

When living in Old Louisville, amidst the Klan's declaration that they  were 
taking over "the downtown", I decided to cut to the chase and move into  their 
neighborhood.  We moved to Okolona, a section of Louisville known  for poor 
whites, confederate flags, and white supremacy.  So far, the  folks in my son's 
new all white baseball league have been some of the coolest  (although not 
the most progressive on a few things) folks I've ever met.   As long as we keep 
our relationship about baseball, and as long as I know what  streets not to 
accidentally get lost on at night, we should be okay  here.  So I guess that's a 
step home.

Dr. Warner,
Having lived in Okolona since returning to Louisville in 2001, I am  somewhat 
amazed at your characterization of the community. You seem dedicated to  
perpetuating a style of essentialism that doesn't seem to be in line with your  
complaints regarding discrimination. There are many of us that take great  
offense to you characterizing our home as a "Klan neighborhood."
While I do not know where you live exactly, but living off of Outer Loop, I  
have plenty of black neighbors. If your son plays in an all-White baseball  
league, it might be because you chose to live in a part of Okolona where even  
"poor whites" can't afford to live.  The rest of the community is the  most 
ethnically-mixed community in southern Jefferson County.
Your characterization of the streets of this community being dangerous for  a 
black man sound a bit like paranoia. I am willing to bet a large sum of money 
 that you are far safer in Okolona than you are in the West End of 
Louisville. I  know that you don't travel the West End, at all, during the night. I know 
for a  fact, that I can't go into many West End neighborhoods after dark.
I don't pretend to understand the intricacies of your project. I do not  
understand why it gives you the right to treat some people the way you do with  
your words and actions. I really believe that your project has insulated you  
from building the coalitions necessary for fighting discrimination in both  
debate and in Louisville. 
But, undoubtedly, my view lacks your intellectual perspective. I'm just a  
white man living in a Klan neighborhood. I guess I'm just unable to see how your 
 approach is really making anything better. 
I can only imagine what labels you would attach to me (and may anyway) if I  
had described aspects of your life in a manner similar to how I feel you have  
described Okolona.
Okolona-Highview, KY

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